The Minneapolis Area Synod Assembly elected Ann Svennungsen, 56, as bishop, effective May 6.
She was elected Feb. 18 on the fifth ballot with 339 votes. Kelly Chatman, pastor of Redeemer Lutheran Church, Minneapolis, received 317 votes.
At the time of her election, Svennungsen was serving as interim pastor of St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minn. A graduate of Concordia College, Moorhead, Minn., and Luther Seminary, St. Paul, Minn., she began her ministry as the first woman to serve Zion Lutheran Church, Iowa City, Iowa. She was also pastor of Edina [Minn.] Community; Beaver Creek, Joice, Iowa; and Trinity, Moorhead.
Svennungsen served as president and CEO of the Fund for Theological Education in Atlanta and as president of Texas Lutheran University, Seguin.
She replaces Craig Johnson, who resigned in 2011 to become pastor of Mount Olivet Lutheran Church, Minneapolis.
In other business, the assembly voted against changing the state constitution to define marriage as between one man and one woman. The amendment to ban same-sex marriage in Minnesota goes before voters Nov. 6.
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